by Anel Martin
Delegates and readers often ask me why a powerful personal brand matters and the answer is very simple. We live in a world of more individuals and companies competing for the same resources, the competition leads to two different paths… you need to be cheaper, the same and faster, or you need to be special and different—and hence more expensive.
The Connection Economy (Fourth Industrial Revolution) is now with us and the value of being unique, authentic, adding exceptional value, and generosity will be highly valued. As assistants, we have a unique opportunity opening up to us. We get to “create art,” as Seth Godin would say. Art, as he defines it, is adding humanity to our work and doing the extras that others don’t (“Lynchpin” by Seth Godin is an incredible book that I highly recommend). There is a stronger urge than ever before that people want to talk to and deal with people, not voice prompts or websites. We want personal connections and we want to be treated with dignity and respect.
The goal for all of us when creating our brands is to create and maintain a profile that others will value—and thus be willing to pay more for—and will enhance your career opportunities. I call this “striving for premium.” I love the word premium. To me it implies value—not just flash, faking, or PR.
So here are my top tips on how we can achieve P.R.E.M.I.U.M.
P – Preparation is key. Being organized and prepared helps you and your manager. This is highly valued by companies and individuals. After all, our major value-add as assistants is to create order and manage time.
R – Respect and represent yourself, your profession, your company, and your manager well! Treat others with care and concern. Treat yourself and others with love.
E – Examine your work ethic, your skill set, your values/beliefs, and your processes. Strive for improvement and constant growth. We are not static, even the human body regenerates itself on a cellular level. To stay relevant we must question the status quo and keep evolving.
M – Manage your time, emotions, and stress. All of these factors significantly influence how your brand will be viewed.
I – Inspect your brand regularly—“How am I doing at this point?” A brand is not a one-off project and can deteriorate or improve based on your circumstances. Do course-correction as required and maintain your brand daily. The secret ingredient for an exceptional brand is consistency! Make that your main focus.
U – Understand your role and what is required for success. Strive to understand what people really need, not just what they are verbalising. Use this understanding to boost relationships and enhance your EQ and overall performance.
M – Model good behaviours, leadership styles, and communication. We are surrounded by management teams daily and we can identify good role models—and even mentors—who can guide us. We are getting management training for free. So use it!
In closing, I want to encourage you to be “real.” People can sense when you are not being authentic, or when you merely talk a good game. To build stellar, valuable brands we need to walk the talk, be consistent and dedicated to excellence in what we do daily, and most importantly, connect on a human level.